Svaneti is a historic region in northwest Georgia, located in the Caucasus Mountains. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, with high peaks, deep gorges, and pristine alpine landscapes. The region is also known for its unique culture and architecture, with traditional Svanetian towers dotting the landscape.

It is bordered by

  • Racha to the east.
  • Lechkhumi and Samegrelo to the south.
  • Abkhazia to the west.
  • Russian Federation to the north.

According to the modern administrative division, this region is split into Upper Svaneti with the center in Mestia, and Lower Svaneti – the center in Lentekhi. Upper Svaneti is in the Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti region and Lower in the Racha-Lechkhumi region.

Svaneti is considered to be the highest region in the Caucasus. The 10 highest peaks of the Caucasus are here. Among them are: The highest peaks of Georgia, Shkhara (5 201 m), Tetnuldi (4 974 m), Shota Rustaveli (4 960 m), Ushba (4 710 m), Ailama (4 525 m), and others.

Another popular attraction is the UNESCO-listed Upper Svaneti, a region of small, picturesque villages located high in the mountains. This area is home to some of the region’s most beautiful and well-preserved medieval churches and towers.

Overall, Svaneti is a unique and beautiful region with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, architecture, or outdoor adventure.

Brief History of Svaneti

Svaneti has a long and rich history dating back thousands of years. The Svans, who are the primary ethnic group in the region, have inhabited Svaneti for centuries and have maintained a distinct culture and language.

In ancient times, Svaneti was part of the Kingdom of Colchis, which was later conquered by the Persians and then the Romans. In the Middle Ages, Svaneti was ruled by a series of local princes, who built the region’s famous towers as defensive structures during times of conflict.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Svaneti came under the control of the Russian Empire, which sought to modernize the region and integrate it into the larger empire. This led to the construction of roads and other infrastructure, which helped to connect Svaneti with the rest of Georgia.

After the collapse of the Russian Empire, Svaneti became part of the newly-formed Democratic Republic of Georgia. However, in 1921, the Soviet Union invaded Georgia and established control over the country, including Svaneti. During the Soviet period, Svaneti experienced significant social and economic changes, including the collectivization of agriculture and the suppression of traditional cultural practices.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Svaneti became part of the newly independent Republic of Georgia. Today, the region remains a culturally and historically important part of Georgia, attracting tourists and visitors from around the world.



Capital Mestia, Lentekhi
Area 5,776.4 km2
Population 23,000

Regions of Georgia

Why Travel to Svaneti

Svaneti is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and outdoor adventure. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider traveling to this region:

Stunning natural beauty: Svaneti is home to some of the most beautiful alpine landscapes in the world. The region is characterized by high peaks, deep gorges, and pristine natural scenery that is perfect for hiking, trekking, and other outdoor activities.

Unique architecture: Svaneti is known for its traditional architecture, including the famous Svanetian towers that dot the landscape. These towers were built by the Svans as defensive structures during times of conflict and are a unique and important part of the region’s cultural heritage.

Rich cultural heritage: Svaneti has a long and rich history, with evidence of human habitation dating back thousands of years. The region has been inhabited by various ethnic groups over the centuries, including Svans and others. Visitors can explore the region’s cultural heritage through its many historic sites, museums, and traditional festivals.

Outdoor adventure: It is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with opportunities for hiking, trekking, skiing, and other outdoor activities. The region is home to several national parks and protected areas, including the Ushba Glacier and the Svaneti Nature Reserve.

Hospitality: Visitors to Svaneti can expect a warm and friendly welcome from the local population, who are known for their hospitality and generosity.

Overall, it is a unique and beautiful region with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes. It offers something for everyone, from outdoor adventure to cultural exploration.

Tours in Svaneti

Main Sights

  • Museum of History and Ethnography in Mestia
  • Margiani historical household
  • Mikheil Khergiani’s museum
  • Ushguli historical house
  • Ushguli Museum
  • Tower of love
  • St. Mary church in Ushguli
  • Archangel church in Kala
  • St. Barbara church in Kala
  • St. Kvirike and Ivlita church in Kala
  • St. George’s church in Adishi
  • St. George’s church in Ipari
  • Savior’s church in Tsvirmi
  • Kaldani family church in Mulakhi
  • Transfiguration Church in Mestia
  • St. George’s church in Mestia
  • St. Marry church in Mestia
  • Jonah the prophet’s church in Latali
  • Savior’s church in Latali
  • Tangili Archangel’s church in Latali
  • St. George’s church in Latali
  • Mkheri church in Latali
  • Savior’s church in Lenjeri
  • Archangel’s church in Lenjeri
  • Mestia
  • Latali
  • Lenjeri
  • Becho
  • Lakhiri
  • Lagami
  • Lanchvali
  • Ushguli
  • Adishi
  • Tsvirmi
  • Kala
  • Chalaadi glacier
  • Zuruldi mountain
  • Koruldi lakes
  • Guli pass
  • Zagaro pass
  • Latpari pass
  • Shdugra waterfalls
  • Shkhara glacier

Map of Svaneti